2007 > hot topics 60
L e g a l
i s s u e s
p l a i n
l a n g u a g e
This is the sixtieth in the series Hot Topics: legal issues
in plain language, published by the Legal Information
Access Centre (LIAC). Hot Topics aims to give an
accessible introduction to an area of law that is the
subject of change or public debate.
AUTHOR: Robin Banks, Public Interest
EDITOR: Cathy Hammer
DESIGN: Bodoni Studio
Why do we have laws? – What is a legal system? – Where does the legal Australian system come from? – how laws are made – Who is involved in the Australian legal system?
Other influences on the Australian legal system
1. Law – Australia. I. Banks, Robin. II. Hammer,
Cathy. III. Legal Information Access Centre.
(Series: Hot topics (Sydney, N.S.W.); no. 60)
How law is made
© Library Council of New South Wales 2006. All rights
reserved. Copyright in Hot Topics is owned by the Library
Council of New South Wales (the governing body of the
State Library of New South Wales). Apart from any use
permitted by the Copyright Act (including fair dealing for
research or study) this publication may not be reproduced
without written permission from the Legal Information
What the law deals with
Criminal law – civil law – administrative law.
State Library of NSW
International law – adversarial and inquisitorial – customary law – legal system principles.
Statute law – delegated legislation – common law – impact of international law on Australian law.
PHOTOS: Cover image: The Commonwealth Coat
of Arms sculpture by Robin Blau, Parliament House,
Canberra, Chris Mellor, Lonely Planet Images;
pp 1 & 21 Lonely Planet Images; p 4, 10, 16, 18, 24
& 27 Fairfax Photo Library; p 9 & 13 AAP; p 20 &
23 DW Stock Photo Library.
Government in Australia
Hot Topics, ISSN 1322-4301, No. 60
Why do we have government? – our structure of government – the legislature – the executive – the judiciary – limits on the power of the branches of government – states and territories.
Federal parliament – statute law – delegated legislation.
The executive’s involvement in making laws – the executive’s role in law reform – the executive and the legal system.
The judiciary’s role in making law – courts and tribunals – precedent – appeals.
The legal profession
Barristers – solicitors – Who pays for solicitors and barristers?
Finding the law
Finding Acts of parliament – finding cases - how to read a citation.
Websites and contact numbers – books and publications.
Hot Topics is intended as an introductory guide
only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.
Whilst the Legal Information Access Centre attempts
to provide up-to-date and accurate information,
it makes no warranty or representation about the
accuracy or currency of the information it provides
and excludes, to the maximum extent permitted by law,
any liability which may arise as a result of the use of this information. If you are looking for more information on
an area of the law, the Legal Information Access Centre
can help – see back cover for contact details. If you
want legal advice, you will need to consult a lawyer.
For a community or society to work, it needs to
have a level of structure that applies to everyone
and is understood by everyone. Laws create that
structure and regulate the way in which people,
organisations and governments behave.
A law is a rule that comes from a legitimate authority
and applies to everyone. Laws are created to make sure
that everyone understands what is expected of them as a
member of society (their obligations) and what they can
expect of others, including government (their...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document